I created these three GIFs before my Photoshop 5 program became unworkable. A face in Art History seems out of context yet provides commentary, a touchstone. I remind myself, in various ways, of this day when the carnival came to town. A long car driving through shadows into the sun of art history.
I walked past the row houses where I spent my childhood, stepping over syringes, watching for wild dogs, hearing hammering & avoiding ladders leaned against altars in late-afternoon shadow. The wind blew a torn page to my feet: Or ever the silver cord be loosed, or the golden bowl be broken, or the pitcher be broken at the fountain, or the wheel broken at the cistern. Without understanding why, I put the folded paper in my jacket pocket. A touchstone.
I said ‘goodbye’ to a painting this week. Sprayed it with four sweeps of archival varnish half an hour between on a warmish day and packaged it the next. I wanted to write the title on the back but couldn’t find it. So I just started calling the painting ‘Goodbye.’
The canvases with blues I’ve done the last couple years psyched me for using blues on the 5′ X 33′ roll (scroll) of Italian paper I began in late April. That work is now 70% complete. There is no chance of forgetting the title because I rework it often. One word is Druidica.
As for Photoshop 5 and troubles with ‘scratch discs’ – if I save a simple GIF to Web & Devices at the first warning the program won’t shut down on me. But no large files and nothing tricky! So it goes.
Over the last four days I put long hours into my (mostly done in blues) Druidica painting on the 33′ X 5′ roll of Fabriano mixed-media paper.
Too much dark coffee and not enough water. I unrolled and rolled the paper like a scroll on the floor – mostly in silence.
A fellow down the street wheels his wheelchair into an alcove to stay out of the wind. Today he was playing music from a French composer. It sounded like a film score from the sort of movie that no longer exists.
I found the following drawing & short poem as a draft and moved a few words around.
I juxtaposed an image from The Book of Kells with a photo found online showing friends or neighbours (or actors) eating dinner on TV trays in front of a television ‘set.’
My father told me once our family had the first television ‘set’ on the block. Yet still my parents and the neighbours, in the new subdivision built on chewed-up farmland, socialized on the street, in lawn chairs, late on summer nights beneath the stars (no glare of streetlights yet). Ice cubes, shaken from metal trays cracked open with a handle, floated in iced coffee served in metal drinking glasses. Sometimes my mother would call me to empty the glass ashtray. Glass and metal and dark. They remembered something about then.
Then felt closer to in the beginning.
Originally this post contained an oblique rhyming poem I edited, in real time throughout the day, down to two lines (above). This is writing to go with the images. It’s not a ‘received’ poem.
The double-sided pages are numerous sheets of paper laced together. I soak the papers & they dry warped and crinkly. Eventually all the pages (more to come, some with text) will be attached and ‘foldable’ with a back and front cover. Sort of a very loose idea of an accordion book.
Across the years I return again and again to hear The Small Faces sing Itchykoo Park. It all seems such a dream. Steve Marriott’s pleasure and Ronnie Laine’s pleasure and their back and forth expressions. Their Carnaby Street fashions.
I argue with myself and contrast realities. The rebellious joy in Itchykoo Park juxtaposed with Joos de Momper the Younger documenting great Babel. Soon to crumble. Soon to fall.
The laboratories & the madness of Babel. Soon to crumble. Soon to fall.